Wilson Chandler commits to China
Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler will play the entire 2011-12 season in China.
Multiple media reports said Chandler, a restricted free agent, signed Monday with the Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Earlier this month, the CBA implemented two rules limiting the particiapation of locked-out NBA players in their league. The first restricted each team to signing one current NBA player to a contract that does not include an escape clause. The second prohibited teams from signing any NBA player currently under contract.
Chandler has a $3.1 million qualifying offer that allowed the Nuggets one week to match any offer he may receive from another NBA team. Until the lockout is lifted, players cannot negotiate with teams.
According to the reports, Chandler’s one-year contract is for less than his qualifying offer but more than $1.7 million.
Chandler, 24, figured to garner interest once the free agent market opened. He averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21 games with the Nuggets after being acquired from New York in the Carmelo Anthony trade. In four seasons, he has averaged 13.9 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Dozens of players have committed to playing overseas during the lockout, but most have been fringe players who may not have made an NBA team. The biggest name among them is New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams, who signed with a Turkish club and has an escape clause.